The United Nations Economic and Social Council’s President, Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, urged the world community to unitedly combat rising poverty and hunger through measures that include social protection and relief programmes at the commemoration of ECOSOC’s 75th anniversary on Friday. “Scaled-up investment in sustainable infrastructure, an estimated requirement of $1 trillion per year, is essential also for the transition to a dynamic ‘green’ global economy,” he said in his closing address to the high-level event, while also calling for action plans for job creation in sectors such as construction, renewable energy, transport and housing. Underlining that the coronavirus pandemic unfolded during the 54-member Council’s anniversary year, Ambassador Akram recalled how it responded to the crisis, and climate and development challenges, including through drawing attention to the special needs of the world’s least developed nations, while underscoring the need for making available Covid vaccine for all. “This has been a period when the international community faced a ‘perfect storm’ of economic and development challenges,” he said. “Indeed confronted by what my Prime Minister (Imran Khan) has called this ‘triple crisis’ – covid, climate, and development – the ECOSOC, and indeed the UN system as a whole, have demonstrated their indispensable role,” the Pakistani envoy said. The Pakistani envoy presided over the Council’s commemorative meeting in which many ministers from around the world, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, took part. The event took place as Pakistan’s Presidency of the Council is coming to an end. Ambassador Akram was elected last year for the second time to head ECOSOC, which is the third principal organ of the UN, along with the General Assembly and Security Council. He last served in that capacity in 2005. The only other Ambassador to have had this distinction was Juan Somavia of Chile, the former Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO). ECOSOC was established in 1945 under the UN Charter to promote international economic cooperation and oversee the work of all international economic organizations. Pakistan has been elected as ECOSOC President six times. Wrapping up the session , Ambassador Akram said that ensuring Covid-19 vaccines for all was a critical factor if the world is to defeat the pandemic, pointing out the virus has taken four million lives and shattered the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. The ECOSOC chief urged countries to build on convergence and consensus achieved to confront major tasks ahead, starting with ensuring everyone, everywhere, is protected against the virus. “Universal and affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines is essential to defeat the virus and to revive global trade, investment and growth. We have agreed on what needs to be done. We must now do it,” he said.